I read Kevin Foley’s Oct. 11 column “An Apology to Private Parman” with great interest. I was a staff sergeant / 81-mm mortar observer in the European Theater during World War II.
Foley’s column became increasingly personal, as I read about the outfit Parman served in, the 315th Regiment of the 87th Division. I served in the Acorn 87th Division. Let me say the 315th is incorrect, as the regiments were the 345-346th and 347th.
On a hunch I researched my regimental book and found Pvt. Parman not only in the 345th, but in my company, Company M, the heavy weapons platoon. I do not remember David, as my time was spent with a rifle company. I do know that he came from Denver, Miss., a very small town of less than a 50 people.
The date of his death was March 18, 1945. After the Battle of the Bulge we were in Koblenz, Germany, on that date. Casualties were light except for snipers. A day later we crossed the Rhine at Boppard, Germany, and raced to the Czech border. The European war was over in the first week of May.
Our division then departed for the States to prepare for the invasion of Japan.
Pvt. Parman was left behind, interred along with thousands of his comrades.
I honor them all and still today have contacted many of the survivors in my company. Our ranks are fast dwindling.
So when you see a WWII vet, shake his hand for a job well done.
The question of the flowers on his grave (mentioned by Foley) remain a mystery unless his family is aware of his location. I will contact the Parmans with the information that I have.
One paragraph of Foley’s article caused a flood of (negative) comments. All I wish to say is it could have been excluded.